MP’s Task Minister over Hepatitis B Prevalence

The Ministry of health is adopting a multipronged approach on Hepatitis B in Northern Uganda where it is reported to be dominant, State Minister for Health Ellioda Tumwesigye says.

Tumwesigye was responding to concerns raised by Ajuri County MP Dennis Hamson Obua over the management of Hepatitis B in Uganda.

Obua noted that UPDF recruitment teams in Lango, Acholi and Karamoja sub regions confirmed that over 50 young people who had turned up for the just concluded exercise tested positive to Hepatitis B.

Obua says the figure is alarming and requires urgent attention from health experts. He suggests that the ministry zones off affected sub regions and meet with leaders from all affected regions with a view of developing a plan of action on dealing with the disease.

Tumwesigye further said that the government is following up the matter with UPDF to ascertain the magnitude of the problem as encountered during the recent recruitment exercise.

He adds that the ministry is to review several other actions needed to fight against Hepatitis B and establish why the Prevalence is much higher in northern Uganda than other areas.

Tumwesigye notes that with science advancement, the vaccine is now available in the country. This has enabled vaccination of children against Hepatitis B adding that the problem will soon be no more if the immunization campaign is embraced, he adds.

Hepatitis B virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person and about 600, 000 people die every year due to the consequences of hepatitis B according to the World health Organization.

More than two billion people worldwide are estimated to have had hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and 350 million chronic carriers of the virus are at high risk of cirrhosis of the liver and primary liver cancer. Hepatitis B prevalence is highest in sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia.

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